Episodic officially launched its white-label video service to the public today, joining the crowded ranks of off-the-shelf video providers already populated with the likes of Brightcove, thePlatform and Ooyala.
In the two years that the company has been in development, it has shifted focus. Back in July of last year the company was focused on episodic (hence the name), story-driven web content. It has since expanded to become a basic white-label provider servicing media companies, sporting events and enterprises. When asked about the change in direction beyond web series, Episodic CEO Noam Lovinsky told us “Frankly, that’s where the money is.”
Episodic has a deal with Showtime Networks (which also works with market leader Brightcove), and Lovinsky said his company is being used by other major networks that will be announced soon.
Lovinsky said a differentiator for Episodic is its advertising capabilities, including the ability to insert targeted ads into a live events. Rather than just porting a live event straight to the web with the same commercials, Episodic allows publishers to run a different set of ads for the online version.
Lovinsky was dismissive of what he perceived as the predictable headlines bound to emerge from Episodic’s launch — why is Episodic entering a market where the key players are already established? But the reason those headlines spring to mind (and they do spring to mind) is that there other white-label providers have already been able to step in and establish relationships with the big players — will those companies want to go through the hassle of switching?
After being on the receiving end of a jab from Ooyala last week, Levinsky wasn’t afraid to throw a barb of his own during our talk with him, calling out Ooyala, Brightcove and thePlatform by saying “A lot of people say they do a lot of things but don’t really do them.”
While Episodic may be able to go toe-to-toe with the competition when it comes to product features, it will need to ramp up when it comes to its war chest. Episodic has raised just $2.5 million to date (though Lovinsky says it’s ready to go out for more). Ooyala has raised more than $20 million, Brightcove has raised more than $80 million and thePlatform has its own sugar daddy in the form of parent company Comcast.